Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Development Clinic Evaluation Update

I only have a few hours left to keep up with my new years resolution of posting one blog post every month for all of 2014, but I think I'm going to make it! I never shared my March post on twitter, but it was a simple post displaying my 4yr old's photography. I may be biased, but I thought his perspective was so interesting! If you're into that sort of thing, you should check it out.

Earlier this month we finally had our evaluation at the child development clinic to get Gabriel diagnosed with whatever behavioral issue he might have.  In case you haven't been following, we know he has low muscle tone that is affecting his performance at school, but insurance will not pay for therapy because hypotonia is generally a symptom of a larger problem.  He needs to be diagnosed with whatever other issues he has in order to receive therapy for the immediate problem.  The evaluation was intense. It started off with Gabriel in the adjacent room with the psychologist while I was interviewed by a series of medical professionals. I heard Gabriel laughing in the other room and was even able to spy on him a bit in between interviews. He thoroughly enjoyed that portion of the evaluation.

My interviews were exhausting. They really pushed for every piece of relevant or irrelevant information about his birth, medical history, and family medical history. They asked the same questions a variety of different ways to make sure they got everything.  I definitely felt grilled. I wasn't resentful though, because I didn't want to leave anything out that might help them. Next I met with the psychologist after he'd finished with G. He was sort of difficult to talk to and now I kind of regret I didn't push past my own discomfort and share more about the issues we face. I did give him the scoop, but I don't know if I shared enough details or went as in depth as I could have.

After that last interview we'd been there for over two hours. I was taken to Gabriel who was getting a hearing test and I could immediately tell he needed a break. At home, after school, he usually needs 30minutes to an hour of 'zone out' time in front of the TV. During this time he doesn't want to interact with anyone. He prefers that no one else is in the room with him. Even in the summer he often needs these breaks after a busy morning and now that he's four, he is sometimes able to tell me that he 'needs a rest'.  I could tell he needed one of these breaks, but I knew we were at least 30 minutes away from being done.

Earlier, the psychologist had asked me what would happen if Gabriel didn't get one of these breaks. I said he would have a meltdown, but that rarely happened because I was pretty good at responding to his needs.  And if it did happen I was pretty good at mitigating it. Well, that wasn't to happen on that day! After the hearing test he met with another medical person to test reflexes and to rule out possible other causes for the low muscle tone. We pushed him beyond his limit and he had one of the biggest meltdowns I've ever seen. Certainly the biggest one he's had in the last six months. He screamed, kicked, and completely flipped out. I was able to calm him down enough to leave, but everyone agreed that the evaluation was over.

So, I guess they saw everything there was to see. Now we have to wait EIGHT WEEKS for the results! Eight weeks! UGH. I'm disappointed, but there's really nothing I can do about it. I'm sad that after all his preschool teacher has done to help us out in this process she won't know the diagnosis until after he moves out of her class. But, I'm glad his next teacher will have all the information she needs. Hopefully we can start some kind of therapy this summer and it won't be so much of a problem next year. 

Though the evaluation wasn't a great experience, I feel like they were very thorough.  I'm hoping this leads them to the correct diagnosis and we can move on to treatment. We made the decision to seek help for Gabriel on January 17th, and now I'm not sure we'll have help by June. I hope we'll have a diagnosis by then, but after that we'll have to choose a therapy program and get enrolled.  Not sure what my next post will be about. This time next month we still won't have any news!

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